Some questions & answers that were left outside of print:
What is a typical day like for you?
This depends as now I’m into heavy meditating. I wake up at 8 am but take an hour to get out of bed. During that hour I’m either talking to my cat or checking email over phone and replying to them or I would be reading a book. I have breakfast while sitting with my cats at my front yard and staring at the trees. If there’s work that needs my immediate response I’ll be on my laptop working. During days I feel depressed I watch television and do my work in front of the TV. In between work, I get up every 20 minutes and do my house chores, feed my cats, clean and groom them and myself, exercise, meditate, and paint. I teach martial arts in the evening and then read while watching television or meditate and sleep by 11 pm. When I have college or work to attend outside of home then it’s a different routine all together. In short my life encompasses household chores, cleaning, hobbies and work that all serve as therapeutic tools and a holistic approach to live with what I have.
What kind of support does a person with schizophrenia require?
This must be a trick question. I think society needs more support than we do. They are the ones projecting their discrimination onto us. 🙂 Honestly most of us just need love, care, compassion, acceptance and encouragement. We’re quite capable of figuring out the rest. But then again regular society themselves lack such support to each other.
What are your hobbies?
Painting, doodling, miming, writing, dreaming, talking to my cats and interacting with nature, practicing martial arts, reading, interacting with others like myself over social networking….dancing Tandavas with Hindu Gods and conspiring to rule the world.
What are the life lessons that you learnt in the process?
Everyone needs to be given the benefit of the doubt. You can never tell what trauma hides behind a smile or what loss lies behind a gain or what amount of pain is walking along. Each person has a role to play in our lives even if they cause pain. Every human is in need of a hand. If we can’t reach out and help them then at least we can keep our mouth shut and not harm them.
How do you perceive spirituality?
The only necessity there is. One cannot perceive it but just practice it in the many colours it exists in. Nothing about life is to be ever taken at face value including one’s experiences. What society calls reality is all an illusion – where as when someone likes me lives with a delusion it is nothing but an exaggerated coping skill to deal with the world itself. Spirituality is as healing is for me…life long and needs to be practiced.
Do you like pets? Do you have any? If yes, can you tell about them?
Yes I’ve had pets ever since a kid. Dogs, cats, turtles, hamsters, spiders, all come and gone. They keep me connected to my animalian spirit and are my biggest teachers. Currently I have 4 cats. They are amazing at keeping me grounded and make excellent therapist. When I’m depressed and sleeping they’ll keep sleeping with me. When I’m feeling suicidal they’ll keep doing something that’ll force me to get up. Sometimes when I’ve had nocturnal seizures my cat has woken me up and saved me or even calmed me down. Though I consider cockroaches good for anger management as I’ll just smack them instead of using pesticide.
What is your idea of love?
I’m in tune to nature a lot and sometimes the love seen in nature can be seen to be simply that of survival. But it’s a circle of life….and that to me is a circle of love. And that also means letting go. I love everyone though I rarely express it -though this does not mean I necessarily ‘like’ them. Love is like art. I can only be ‘drawn’ by it.
Can you tell some of your wackiest ideas to spend a holiday?
a. Sketching while paragliding attached to a skateboard which will land in god knows where.
b. Staying at Jim Corbett’s or any other animal park and learn about life by hanging around animals.
c. Barrel jumping at Niagara Falls
d. A cross country walk dressed as an alien
e. Randomly hopping onto any bus and see where it takes me and play real life vigilante.
f. ..oh too many i’ll come up with
What is your formula for life?
When depressed – ‘look good feel good, feel good look good’. When suicidal – ‘I’m not suicidal, I am just shedding off ego’. When overwhelmed by anything – ‘Breathe. Observe and let go’. All time: ‘Just Be & Let Be’
Can you name few things that you cannot stay without?
My breath. My cats and my imaginary friends.
What are the ways in which one can express their thoughts?
Almost anything that is creative in nature. Art, acting, sports, exercise, writing, story telling, self-talk with observation during meditation, interacting with nature and animals, calling a friend who will not judge but just listen, conversing with a stranger, emailing oneself, maintaining a journal/sketch diary.
What is it like to grow up and be responsible? People expect adults to be serious personalities, what is your idea of being an adult?
Adults are thrown into a never ending world of constructions and end up losing their inner child. Their egos (no matter how much they claim they are wise) still come in the way as expectations will always be there. As an adult I have a choice and I know I have that choice. I can be responsible and live in the same constructions but that does not mean I have to give my inner child up and only follow what the adult has to say. I follow my inner child at every level because that is the innocence that keeps me grounded to being who I am – remaining curious, being open and non-judgemental, and entirely carefree. My adult lives the outside world through the eyes of the child. As long as the adult in me protects my inner child, my being will remain open to everything and anything. I honestly have not ‘grown up’ 🙂 I’ve remained 6 for a very long time. MAYBE I’ll consider growing up as an option a decade from now.
In this world of peer pressure, can you mention some of the ways to retain one’s individuality?
It’s important to spend time alone and rejuvenate. Keeping in touch with individuals who are supportive and encouraging along with giving them the same reinforces self-belief. As individuals we must also understand that we change every day and sometimes we need to get over ourselves in order to evolve.
Is it necessary to have a set of principles in life or deal with life as it comes? Does not living according to rules, makes it difficult to be organized?
It’s necessary sometimes as it is contextual. Everything in life is relative and one principle or philosophy will not apply to another situation. We need principles for certain things – but uncertainty is a part of everyday life and for this we also need to know when to go with the flow and deal with life as it comes.
How would you define yourself?
…I can’t be defined. No one can. I live as my soul and this changes every single day.
What is your aim in life?
Rule the world – find my home planet – save mankind 🙂 ..help others like me know that we are not alone and we are capable of making a difference in the lives of many others. My label has not given me any basic human right but my label has given me the right to talk about all the uncertainties in life – this is my message to others – that what we have can be quite like a curse…but we have to look at the boons even if it requires us to look outside our beliefs.
What is your fashion statement?
Nudity 😀 . I’m known to wear torn jeans or painted clothing or I float around in really large ones. I need something easy and comfortable as I find clothing a waste of time and resources. Ever since my brain surgery I’ve had difficulties with buttons, tying stuff, tight clothings so I avoid them as far as possible. I don’t enjoy shopping either as colours and anything bright affects me.
What is your message to readers, as a bold and charming personality yourself?
Stop reading my interview and go and discover your true self and identity. Live through your soul and let it be your guide.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. How true is this statement?
Very true…depends on who is singing it 😉
Favourite car: Rosso corsa la ferrari
Favourite place: Anywhere nature is
Best friends: My cats and the imaginary
Breath taking experience: Meeting Madhuri Dixit and forgetting my grammar then being reminded to breathe
Embarrassing moment: Never had one.
Biggest strength: My spirit
Guilty pleasures: Magnum ice cream and frozen strawberry cheesecake
Biggest splurge: Art materials and books
Awful experience: Losing my pets
Cherished memory: Being adopted by animals